Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Great Moments

Great moments are born from great opportunity. - Herb Brooks

Last Thursday I was given an opportunity to embark on a trip with 70 other woman, to Dearborn, Michigan. The group I went with is associated with the company I work for and includes both active and retired employees.  On this trip, there were at least 50 retirees. It sounds thrilling doesn't it? 3.5 half days with 50 retirees. But it was a trip that completely altered my perspective on my working life.

I realize how lucky and fortunate I am that my company has an organization in which you can connect with and learn from woman who worked from decades gone by. I've said since I've returned that I learned more in those 3.5 days than I have in the 3.5 years I've been with my employer. In my opinion these women built this country, if it weren't for them, the business would have never ran as well as it had. They paved the way for woman like me in the workplace. The stories are all different, but they have the same common thread. These were woman who took pride in their job and pride in their company and stood up for themselves.  The ladies worked in a time where woman were secretaries and that was all that they would be.  But they weren't just secretaries, they did everything that was asked of them and more, with high heels and a smile on their face. Yes, some of them had degrees, some were chemists when woman weren't chemists, some had accounting backgrounds, but the same thoughts about the place of a woman were the same, women could not be as good as men. Some tell stories of how they were required to go to lunch meetings and maintain notes of business deals while keeping up with the men in drinks (for up to 3 or 4 hours!).  There is a story of a woman who started as a secretary, got her law degree, passed the bar and was still not given a promotion. Eventually she became an attorney for the company and then when she retired became one of the best in the country at what she did. There is a story of a woman who developed a patent during the late 60's or early 70's and when the patent got submitted her name got conveniently 'left off,' excuses were created it but it boiled down to she was a woman. However, Law caught the "error" and added her name to the registration. These were just a few of the ones I was told. They all had these stories, these experiences that they over came. I would also add, that these woman didn't work for 5, 10, 15 years.. No they worked for 30, 35, 45 years at the same company. There is an active employee that has been in the same job for 44 years. 44 years. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.  

The resistance these woman faced, the discrimination they worked through, if it doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will.  What was most inspiring to me, is they told these stories of hardships and triumphs and at the end of EVERY conversation they would end with 'I could never say anything bad about the company. It gave me a good life and good relationships. I really enjoyed working there.' They ooze of pride and loyalty. The didn't whine about the positions they were in or how they were mistreated (by today's standards). They put on their big girl panties and did their job, and excelled.  When they recall their career, they light up. The smiles just cover their face. They inspire me to excel at my job. They gave me their words of wisdom, the lessons that they learned to help me and my career. They have encouraged me to work as hard as I can, because for me, there I don't have a limit for what I can accomplish.  

I am proud to work for my company knowing that I am following in these women's footsteps.  Maybe they aren't famous, maybe a documentary hasn't been done about them, but the contribution to the company, to society that they made, should never be forgotten. It would be a great injustice to their legacy to forget their contribution.    

It's funny how your perspective of your job changes when you talk to the people who really did it have it rough. Who didn't have the equality we have today. They were limited in how much they could achieve, but it didn't stop them, it didn't break them.

So I have to ask 'What is our excuse?'

My father always told me that everything was 'all of what you made of it.' This trip granted me the opportunity to have these great moments, and I accepted them with open arms. It was an absolute honor and privilege to spend a weekend with these ladies. It was a weekend that I know I will never forget. I am very grateful to have served as their Vice-President for the previous two years. Knowing that I have earned their respect, their trust, has re-energized my spirit.

Take it easy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekly Words to Inspire - Henry Ford

This weekend I was blessed to go on a trip from my organization to Dearborn, Michigan.  We went to several sites & museums all which seemed to center around Henry Ford.  I thought it was only right, to send some words of inspiration from Henry Ford, as he was truly an inspiring man.

You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.

Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

I love this one...
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

I could not forget this personal favorite of mine..
Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.

Take it easy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Getting with the Program!

So last week I ran. I ran a lot actually. I even ran 6 miles during lunch. Listen. I work in a great city to become fit in. That's all I can say.

Anyways, after making the committments I have made, I decided I needed to find a program. So that's what I have done. I found it here.

So this is what I did this week:
Monday - A 2 mile easy run & some light strength training.
Tuesday - A 3 mile easy run. ( I did this partly in the rain, much to my mother's dismay, but it was a great run. I loved it.)
Wednesday - I did a full Jazzercise class and a Body Sculpting class.
Thursday - A 2 mile easy run.

Now I'm supposed to do
Friday - A 3 mile easy run.
Saturday - A 3.25 mile easy run.

Now I am leaving in a few hours for a trip to Dearborn, MI.  I think I might switch some days around and do the Saturday run on Sunday. It all depends on time and how I am feeling. So we will see.
But I will stick to this program. I'm deteremined. I also realize that I have started really early, so I've decided that I will run the first couple of weeks in doubles. We will see how this goes.

Have a good weekend.

Take it easy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Shower Gift!

Saturday I was fortunate enough to get to drive two hours north of Pittsburgh to attend a good friend's baby shower. Let me just say... she is absolutely one of the most precious preggo's I've ever seen. Since the first day I met her ( I worked with her Husband), I knew she was going to be a fantastic Mommy... Her husband on the other hand... let's just say I can't wait to see him change a diaper!

In my fashion, I created a gift... It started like this.

Yes, this was a cabinet door.
I used my cricut machine to do this...
(can you see the cut outs? Okay, well that's what I used for my 'stencil.')
So now imagine me... painting it white between the tape.... then taking a bunch of words and arranging them, then re-arranging them... then starting to paint.. then realizing I have gaps.
Lucky for me, I'm creative:)
Here's almost finished...
As you can see, I used puffy paint to fill in the one gap.. I also love to always make LOVE red. It just HAPPENED to fall in the middle of the piece. 
So I was getting ready to put on 'No Spitting, Hitting, Screaming.' When I thought to myself... Self.. These are things you wish for the child. Maybe the parents have something else... Thus. I painted the section with Chalkboard paint... and it looked like this..
I'm kind of a fan of it.

Then I wrapped it like this..
Oh yeah. I got them Sarris'. They love me.

As for the shower. It was adorable.
Here are some pictures:
Place setting..
Rubber ducky... your the one...
Tell me these aren't the cutest.
Unbelievable mini cupcakes. And since they were mini, it was okay to eat 3. That's like eating one, right?

There's a huge possibility that i will be copying this idea in the near future. All I have to say is that Jen's sister is an AMAZING scrapbook creator. This book was just awesome. So the deal is that they take the baby's picture next to the monkey for the first year to show how he grows. Then they document it in the scrapbook that was created. She added pages in the back for 'parenting advice.' I loved this. It was just awesome.

The Mommy-to-be and Me!
She's so cute. I just love her.

Take it easy.

Domestically Speaking

Monday, May 16, 2011

Check me out!

Over the weekend, since I had trouble with Blogger, I published a blog post on another site.

Check it out. 

It's my review on my 'toe shoes' aka Vibram Five Fingers.

Click here!

Take it easy.

P.S. Totally just watched Eat, Pray, Love. I loved it. I cried through it. I'm not ashamed to admit to it. Really good movie. 

Weekly Words to Inspire - Lance Armstrong

Welcome to the middle of May! Summer (hopefully) is really close to returning!!
As many of you know, I have committed running to a 10k in September. However, over the weekend I have also committed to running a 10k in August. So for those of us who are training or going through something personally, I hope these can inspire you. These are all from Lance Armstrong.

“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.”

“A boo is a lot louder than a cheer. If you have 10 people cheering and one person booing, all you hear is the booing.”

"If you worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on."

'Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody's going down. "

"Two things scare me. The first is getting hurt. But that's not nearly as scary as the second, which is losing."

"Winning is about heart, not just legs. It's got to be in the right place. "

My favorite!!
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

Take it easy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekly Words To Inspire

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all those Mother's out there!
(I was off camping with mine! Isn't she lucky?!)

Let's hope this week the weather finally improves!


Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is failure turned inside out. The greatest pollution problem we face today is negativity. Eliminate the negative attitude and believe you can do anything. Replace 'if I can, I hope, maybe' with 'I can, I will, I must.''-Mary Kay Ash
Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.
-Les Brown
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory.
-Susan B. Anthony

Take it easy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fantastic Friday

Today is Friday! Whoop Whoop!

So today is fantastic for many reasons. One of which, is my family is getting together for a ‘Family Camping Trip.’ Stories and memories are sure to be taken away from this experience. Additionally, don’t you wish you were as lucky as my Mom to be camping on Mother’s Day?!?!?!?!

But beyond that, I had the most amazing morning. Since I’m trying to get out of the city a little early, I didn’t want to work out at lunch. So I was doing something I NEVER do. I got my stuff ready last night and prepared for a run in the morning. When I went outside to get into my car, I realized that it wasn’t as cold as I was expecting. I thought to myself ‘Should I run outside? Hmmmmm.’ By the time I got to my building, all I could think about was going for a run outside. So that’s what I did. It was the most glorious run. I started at about 6. I ended up running across 2 bridges and for a couple miles along side the river, as the sun came up. It was absolutely beautiful and relaxing. Next time I’ll try to take my camera.

Thanks to Google Maps I mapped out my run. I know I can use map my run, but this was more fun for me.

So I think I got a new activity on Friday’s.

Have a fantastic Friday!

Take it easy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another 'C' Word


I can often be described as a creature of habit, one which does not always embrace change. For instance, I pick my clothes out for the week every Sunday night. If I happen to miss that opportunity, my whole week feels off. Yes. I am that kind of person.  I love my routines, I love what I know. I hate anything that's different.

Last year was big for me, I had been on my ‘fit’ path and it was time to buy dresses for Weddings and other occasions. I ended up with two dresses that I couldn’t have been more excited about. Now, keep in mind, growing up I was the definition of Tom Boy. If you looked it up in the Dictionary you would have seen my picture. So for me to CHOOSE to buy dresses, is quiet a deal. I wore these dresses as much as I could.

Enter April 30, 2011. I had completed my first 5k. I was proud of myself. I was proud of my physical appearance. I began to think about my summer and the fact that I will be attending 3 weddings. 2 of which I needed to wear a dress. I needed a rehearsal dress for the other. Oh crap. So I tried on my favorite dresses from last year… they did not look nearly as nice as I had remembered. The problem, my friends, was even though I’m maintaining weight; I’m not maintaining my size... I’m losing inches, which is great. But those dresses were so darn cute. As I had tagged this photo ‘ A dress my mother can finally be proud of..’

That was the truth. So now with a new pride in myself. I was off to find a dress or two. (Note: I only buy things on sale or with a coupon. Luckily, I just had a birthday so I had a lot of coupons that were to expire that day!)

Off I go to the mall. My first stop, The Limited. I have a hit and miss relationship with this store. Sometimes everything fits and looks amazing and sometimes, it’s just a beautiful disaster. So I wonder through, I find a few items that I kind of enjoy. I look back on the sale section. I find a few more… I have this awesome young lady helping me out. She gets me a room... And I warn her that I’m going to need help and I want her honesty. So the first dress I tried on I really enjoyed. I really liked, but it was a little big in weird spots. But it was totally not Sarah, which was a plus (It had a HUGE flower bring and this weird strap that went around your neck). So then I try on the next one. The fit was good. Better than the first, but the nice young lady told me that, although the fit was good, the print was basically, not that becoming on a mid 27 something. Okay moving on… Then I put on this dress & I couldn’t stop smiling. Sometimes, you just know… Here’s the dress:

 It’s so adorable. The fit was perfect on me. I liked the design. So this was the front runner. So my temporary fashionista, provided me with this dress:

It’s a really dark royal purple. L.O.V.E.D. it. I know they are similar styles. I get that, but they are pretty girly for me. And they actually compliment my body shape. ANNNDDD they were a size smaller than the dresses I bought for last year’s occasions. My little fashionista showed me this one ‘for fun.’ 

Anyone that knows me knows that this is not my style, but totally is. I never in a million years thought I’d wear something like this. Then BAM. I fell madly, deeply in love (and it has pockets!).

So the decision was in hand… which dresses do I buy?

Well, seeing that I’ve really stopped shopping… I decided on the top 2 dresses, and I knew I had another amazing coupon at home… So I’m going back to buy the last one.

I went to another store where I had some coupons... New York & Company… I was in the changing room when I texted a life long friend ‘I don’t even know myself anymore.’ Her response seemed quite frantic until I said, “I’m buying skinny jeans.” Yes, not only were they skinny jeans, but they were denim leggings. They look SOOOO cute with my cowboy boots. Then I went on to purchase... Wait for it… accessories to go with my purple dress. Crazy, I know! Just call me your modern day wild woman.

Change. Sometimes, change can be a fabulous thing. It’s something that can happen in an instant without you even realizing it. This change, this girly-dress-loving change, makes me happy. Now I just need an excuse to wear one of the dresses!

Psst: I’m open to any and all show suggestions. As I don’t really want to wear these dresses going barefoot… Just begging sayin'.

Take it easy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Best. Smoothie. Ever

Recently, I've found the best protein that is a. delicious and b. is healthy.

Tonight, I made the best smoothie ever.
When I opened my fridge to look for my smoothie ingredients, I realized that while I was so excited the strawberries smelled sweet that I didn't pick anything else up, other than bananas.

So my smoothie was a package of strawberries, one banana, and a scoop and a halfish of About Time Strawberry protein, and some Horizon Organic milk. Oh. My. Goodness. It was unbelievable. Note: I wanted to take pictures but I think my camera is finally starting to die. **insert really sad face**

This is my new favorite protein. Actually tastes like a Strawberry milkshake. (I only bought it because that's all they had at GNC, otherwise I would have gotten chocolate, however, strawberry is amazing.

Here's the site Listen. it's 24g of protein, 100 calories, and 0 carbs in 8 ounces! It only has 5 ingredients. It doesn't taste chalky or like you are drinking protein. Next time you are looking for stuff. I would totally try this.

My smoothies are gonna rock from this day forward.

Take it easy.

The 'C' Word

I know I've been MIA for a while. Hopefully I can catch up soon! I got Bronchitis again on April 11th. That would have made it 2 months almost to the day of the last time I got it. At least It didn't knock me down as badly as it did in February.  Then I went from that to running my first 5k. I finished it in 27:30. I was pretty pleased with that considering how sick I have been the past, I don't know, 9 or 10 months. I ran it with a lot of the girls from Jazzercise. It was such a fun time. I really enjoyed it. My goal was to do it under 30 minutes. I obviously reached that goal. So that leads me up to the 'C' word...

I've decided to COMMIT to run The Great Race 10k in Pittsburgh in September. My goal is to run this in 60 minutes. Which, I feel is a good goal and within reason, as long as I don't get any sicker.  After reaching my goal in the 5k, I was not sure what to do. I don't run, anyone who knows me, knows, I am soooo not a runner, never have been. However, that doesn't mean I can't become one. I was reading one of the blogs that I keep on. This woman is so inspiring.  Her name is Lindsey, and she lives very far away from Pittsburgh. But she is currently on a journey to bike 100 miles. Yeah. Crazy. I've been following her progress and I thought about her struggles and her successes and it clicked. That's what I want to do. Now, I'm not as ambitious as her. You won't be finding me running a marathon anytime soon.  But the farthest I have ever run at one time is 6 miles. This will be a challenge for me.  So I'm on my path. I have a semi-plan in place... of some goals that I want to reach. And I want to reach them for no one but myself, which is the best part.  I'm slowly learning, from others and myself, that if you put all you have into something, there will be no such thing as failure.

So that's it. Near the end of September I will be running a 10k thru the streets of Pittsburgh.

I figured, I'll post up my workouts for the week. To track how much I run, how often, and times. I'll do my best.

How's that sound? If you have ANY advice, I'd love to hear it!

Take it easy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekly Words To Inspire - One more quote...

When I read this.... I had to add it...

“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” - Mark Twain

I feel as though it couldn't be more appropriate than today.

Take it easy.

Weekly Words to Inspire

Okay - Well... I WAS going to have quotes about reaching accomplishments, as I ran my first 5k on Saturday and beat my targeted time of 30 minutes... However. As well know, Osama bin Laden, is not Osama bin Gotten. Hopefully some of these go between both accomplishments.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
- Beverly Sills

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
- Doug Larson

Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
- Orison Swett Marden

I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.
- Tony Robbins

My favorite:
The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

From Lee Greenwood:
And I’m proud to be an American,

where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

annddd I couldn't forget Toby Keith!
Ohhh Justice will be served

And the battle will rage
This big dog will fight
When you rattle his cage
And you'll be sorry that you messed with
The U.S. of A.
'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass
It's the American way

Go U. S. A.
Take it easy.